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North Italia - 2957 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612, Phone: 949-629-7060
One of the top-rated restaurants in the whole Orange County area, North Italia is located in Irvine, just 5-10 minutes east of John Wayne Airport. Hugely popular, tables at this place are often booked up in advance, and once you've tried the dishes here, you'll understand why. There are a lot of Italian restaurants in Orange County, but North Italia really stands out for the fact that every single one of its dishes is made from scratch with fresh ingredients and innovative ideas, adding unique twists and spins to timeless Italian classics. The prices aren't bad either and you can dine here for $25 per person or less.
Benihana - 4250 Birch St, Newport Beach, CA 92660, Phone: 949-955-0822
Benihana has locations all over the globe, including one just a few minutes away from John Wayne Airport in Newport Beach. This place offers top tier Japanese cuisine, including all the classics you associate with the Land of the Rising Sun like sushi, tataki, maki, sashimi, miso soup, noodle bowls, teriyaki, and much more. The Hibachi steaks are particularly delicious here and there's a huge range of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, including some super cocktails and sake options.
Il Fornaio Irvine - 18051 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, CA 92612, Phone: 949-261-1444
If you're looking for fine dining just a few minutes away from the terminal entrance at John Wayne Airport, Il Fornaio Irvine is the place to be. A highly elegant location with top class service and an outstanding menu all year long, this place is perfect for farewell meals with friends or family before heading off on a big flight or perhaps even a romantic dinner for two before you and your partner head over to the airport for a well-earned getaway break. Pizzas, pastas, and a whole range of Italian specialities make up the menu here, with the Brasato al Vino Rosso (ribs with red wine) and Pollo Toscano (Tuscan-style chicken) standing out as a few of the finest dishes on the menu. Lighter bites are available at lunchtime and there are some good gluten-free dishes to choose from too.